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The second week of March may have marked a permanent change in Commissioner Bud Selig’s status. He’s no longer simply an incompetent, lying, permanently conflicted embarrassment to an office once held by judges and senators. Unless the owners who hired him wake up in time to stop him, Czar Bud will have become an active threat to their own wallets and a walking advertisement for the repeal of MLB’s anti-trust exemption.
Perhaps the question I get the most this time of year is “Who will win the Rookie of the Year Awards?” It’s a tough one, because winning the award isn’t just about being the top prospect in the game. Opportunity plays a huge role, as does age. All else being equal, a 24-year-old rookie has a better chance to win the award than a 21-year-old, even though the 21-year-old is the more valuable property. Rookies of the Year, in fact, are often older players having the best year of their career, while younger players who barely register in the voting go on to have the most success.
In general, it’s a bad thing if you can associate an umpire’s name with his work.
There is no competitive balance problem in baseball, even in the latest period of Yankee pennants. Supposedly, the Yankees play an entirely different game than other teams. If this is true, we should see this in almost any metric we choose, but it’s not there.
A few weeks ago at the BP Pizza Feed in Los Angeles, one of the attendees–sorry, I don’t remember who–asked me what we could
expect from Jeff Torborg in Florida. The Marlins, as you know, have a large stable of young starting pitchers, including perhaps
the game’s top prospect, 22-year-old right-hander Josh Beckett. The questioner wanted to know if there was anything we
could glean from Torborg’s history that would indicate how he might handle the pitching talent on hand.
I spent my weekend watching college hoops and delving into Jeff Torborg’s managerial career, so today’s column is everyone’s favorite: Short-Attention-Span Theatre!
It was an innocent enough question. When I did my column comparing Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel as regards their Hall of Fame resumes (or lack thereof), out of the blue the query came: is Larry Walker a Hall of Famer?
In the last installment of DTN, we examined the topic of whether left-handed pitchers take longer to have a breakout season than right-handers do. In the process, we had to define exactly what a “breakout” season is. I used a series of qualifiers to define the term, and it worked pretty well. But there is a much simpler definition:
A breakout season is what Roy Halladay had in 2001.
Many of the arguments for changing baseball’s economic structure refer to the NFL as the model for a new one. The NFL has a payroll cap and appears to lack the revenue disparities of MLB, and is quite successful and popular, so why shouldn’t MLB implement the tools that they use?
The type of salary cap that is likely to be proposed by management in upcoming labor negotiations is probably a bad idea. But two recent articles at the Baseball Prospectus Web site overstate the case against salary caps in general.